Christmas in Pittsburgh

Updated July 21, 2020.

Merry Christmas! It’s Merry Monday, my readers! My sweet husband and I went to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving with his family, but I made sure we did some Christmassy things while we were there! If you are heading to Pittsburgh this Christmas season or in the coming years, here are the things you should put on your “to do” list!

10. The Frick

Location: 7227 Reynolds Street; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm Tuesday-Sunday; Open Until 9:00pm Friday; Closed Monday
Admission: $12

Henry Clay Frick was a steel industrialist who became a millionaire by the time he was 30. His home reflects his station in life, and it’s never more festive than at the holidays! See how a millionaire’s mansion would have been decorated for Christmas in America’s excessively ornate Gilded Age.

The Frick

9. Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Location: 4400 Forbes Avenue; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm Wednesday-Monday; Until 8:00pm Thursday; Closed Tuesday
Admission: $19.95

If you’re into Christmas trees, this museum is not to be missed! Not only is it a beautiful and interesting museum with fascinating artifacts, it is also stunning at Christmastime! Here is a sampling:


8. Ice Skating at PPG Place

Location: The Plaza between Third and Fourth Avenues; Downtown Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:00am-Midnight Friday and Saturday
Admission: $8; $4 skate rental; 50-cent locker rental

Ice skating might be the ultimate holiday activity! And when the town is decorated for Christmas, it becomes even more fun. Skating lessons are also available, and you can even skate with Santa on Saturdays!

Ice Skating at PPG Place

7. The Pittsburgh Creche

Location: 600 Grant St
Hours: All Hours from Light Up Night until Epiphany, January 6
Admission: FREE

This nativity scene is the world’s only authorized replica of the nativity at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. It has been here every Christmas season since 1999 thanks to a local businessman who took a business trip to Rome in 1993. He was so moved by the Vatican’s creche that he wanted to bring it home to share with his fellow Pittsburghers.

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The Pittsburgh Creche

6. Holiday Food Shopping at the Strip District

Location: East of the Allegheny River, between 11th and 33rd Streets; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Morning-Evening
Admission: FREE

The Strip District is the location where boats and trains with fresh food used to unload so the people of Pittsburgh could have food in their markets. Now it’s still a local shopping district with restaurants, artisan shops, and markets of all kinds. Around Christmas, you can find locals buying meats, vegetables, and fresh bread for their holiday meals. And you’ll find plenty of people putting orders for authentic Polish pierogis, too!

Need a little something authentically Polish?
More here: 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh

5. Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning

Location: 4200 Fifth Avenue; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Saturday; 11:00am-4:00pm Sunday
Admission: $4 1st floor tour; 3rd floor rooms FREE

The Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning is a Christmastime treat. I got really excited when I read about this because each room represents a different country, and they are each decorated for Christmas in the traditional way for that country! I was a little disappointed that the tour was exclusively about the rooms, with no special mention of the Christmas decorations. But it was still worth doing! If you are pressed for time or don’t want the tour, you can look into the rooms on the 3rd floor free.

Lithuanian Room Christmas Tree

4. S.W. Randall’s Toy Store

Location: 630 Smithfield Street; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 10:00am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday; Closed Sunday
Admission: FREE

Do you like to shop local? Like feeling nostalgic? You should definitely step into Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest specialty toy store! Their charming antique storefront belies the current toys inside. From board games to dolls, there is something to fit under every tree.

How cute is this?

3. Walk Around Downtown Pittsburgh

Location: Downtown Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: All Hours
Admission: FREE

Many large cities and small towns alike decorate for Christmas in a big way, but Pittsburgh really gets into the Christmas spirit! From a huge tree in the middle of a skating rink to the Christmas Market to the storefronts and street decorations, you can’t walk through Downtown Pittsburgh at Christmas without a smile on your face and a longing for a holiday-inspired beverage!

That’s some holiday spirit!

2. Phipps Conservatory

Location: One Schenley Park; Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 9:30am-11:00pm Daily; Holiday Magic 5:00pm-11:00pm Daily
Admission: $17.95

The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Phipps Conservatory Winter Garden and Holiday Magic Light Show! The line will be unbelievable, but not as unbelievable as what you’ll find inside!

One of many Christmas Trees
Read next: What to Know Before You Visit Pittsburgh

1. Pittsburgh Christmas Market

Location: The Plaza between Third and Fourth Avenues; Downtown Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: 11:00am-8:00pm Monday-Thursday; Until 9:30pm Friday and Saturday; Until 6:00pm Sunday
Admission: FREE

If you are excited for international Christmas flare and locally-made gifts, Downtown Pittsburgh’s European-style Christmas Market will be a highlight of your trip! From visits with Santa to live musical performances and warm beverages, there is plenty to enjoy at the Christmas Market!

One of the many Christmas Market Stalls

Are you ready for Christmas in Pittsburgh? If you weren’t before, I hope you are now! You’ll find everything you need and more on my United States Page!

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4 responses to “Christmas in Pittsburgh”

  1. Nailed it! Great article on all my favorite things to do at Christmas time in Pittsburgh!

    1. Thank you! It was fun to write and more fun to visit these places!

  2. Beautiful! I enjoyed seeing all of it.

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